Hello Fellow Adventurer...

Welcome! I'm Kelli and I love to plan and go on adventures. I hope you enjoy my photos and tips. Click on the "Destinations" tab and choose a destination for specific location posts. Enjoy!

Things To Do in Amsterdam

Things To Do in Amsterdam

I arrived in Amsterdam via plane at the Schiphol airport. There's a direct train from the airport to Amsterdam's central station. There are self-ticketing machines and the ride lasted about 20 minutes.

My friends and I stayed in Amsterdam for two days, and while I long to go back and see more, here are a few of my favorite things to do:

Take a Canal Cruise

The distinctive Amsterdam rooftops as seen from the canal cruise.

The distinctive Amsterdam rooftops as seen from the canal cruise.

The long boats filled with tourists move slowly, and a commentary is provided via speaker or headphones. While the commentary isn't the most exciting, the ride through the canals is a lovely way to get oriented to Amsterdam. There are a few companies to choose from, we went with the Rick Steves' recommended Rondvaart Kooij. It was the cheapest and a short walk from Dam Square.

The canals of Amsterdam

The canals of Amsterdam

However, if you're arriving in Amsterdam directly from an overnight flight...I'd hold off on the canal cruise. When you're jetlagged, a slow moving cruise with the sun shining on you just adds to the sleepiness.

See the Work of the Dutch Masters Up Close at the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is about a mile and a half from Dam Square by foot. You can also catch a tram, but the walk is quite enjoyable.

I do like the work of Rembrandt and Vermeer, and I really enjoyed that at the Rijksmuseum, you could get really close to the paintings, with the ability to see brush marks. So fascinating as compared to standing several feet away with the portrait behind glass...

There is a fee to enter and there are fewer crowds in the evenings.

Visit Anne Frank's House

Westerkerk and Anne Frank's House as seen from the canal ride.

Westerkerk and Anne Frank's House as seen from the canal ride.

The real site of the Frank Family's hiding place as you read about in Anne Frank's Diary. The house has been converted into a museum and warning...there are a lot of stairs. Prepare yourself. It's an interesting and sobering look into how Jewish families hid during the war years.

There is a fee to enter. You can skip the long lines by buying tickets ahead of time online.

Stroll Through The Red Light District

If you get caught taking photos in the Red Light District...you'll pay for it. So here's a shot before I start my walk through the neighborhood.

If you get caught taking photos in the Red Light District...you'll pay for it. So here's a shot before I start my walk through the neighborhood.

While I'm not out to promote prostitution, it was a bit of a cultural shock for me to see this neighborhood. Seeing these women in windows, blatantly ready to sell their bodies was uncomfortable, so I kept my eyes mostly down...but it is rather entertaining to people watch here and see other store fronts selling drug paraphernalia.

Stop at the Flower Market

Amsterdam's Flower Market

Amsterdam's Flower Market

This busy section of Amsterdam sells flowers, bulbs, seeds, and trinkets. Holland is well-known for their ability to grow tulips, and they do sell bulbs that are certified to take back home through customs. I did this, and it was easy and quick.

Eat Some Ethnic Food

While Dutch food such as cheeses and the stroopwafel cookies are some of my favorites, be sure to stop in at one of the many ethnic eateries. Amsterdam has many Indonesian, Middle Eastern, and Surinamese options.

Take a Half Day Trip to Haarlem

Haarlem's De Adriaan Windmill

Haarlem's De Adriaan Windmill

Haarlem is a 15 minute train ride from Amsterdam, and it's train station is just a 10 minute walk into the heart of this charming city. Most known for it's Market Square and Grote Kerk (church), Haarlem is also home to Corrie Ten Boom. You may remember reading the book, "The Hiding Place," in middle school that recounts the real life experience of the Ten Boom family that hid Jewish families during World War 2. They were eventually discovered and taken to concentrations camps along with those they were hiding.

The exterior of the Ten Boom house.

The exterior of the Ten Boom house.

Tour times are listed on the door and they'll take you in groups. A donation is appreciated.

The cupboard that hid the entrance to the hiding place for the Jewish families.

The cupboard that hid the entrance to the hiding place for the Jewish families.

Inside Grote Kerk is an impressive organ and there are many cafes and shops lining Market Square.

Market Square in Haarlem

Market Square in Haarlem

The 5,000 pipe organ of Grote Kerk.

The 5,000 pipe organ of Grote Kerk.

Grote Kerk

Grote Kerk

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